Admin Fiat Revamp Draft


This is a sandbox page.

It is not approved or active policy. It is a draft, and as such, may be incomplete.

0. This Document

This page is part of the Site Charter, comprising Section IV E.

I. Fiat Definition

Administrative Fiat is an exercising of Administration's will over site policy or rules by either accelerating processes or holding them in abeyance.

An Administrator is using Fiat any time they intentionally change or circumvent a policy, process, or rule in a way not otherwise allowed under existing policy.

This is a Fiat regardless of it is declared or not, and Fiat accountability processes always apply.

Any time admins approve ignoring the Charter or another piece of policy, it stems from Admin Fiat.

II. Categories of Admin Fiat:

A. Emergency Fiat

An Emergency Fiat allows admins to fast-forward or skip site processes during emergencies.

This is the only category of Fiat that Reserve Admins are allowed to make.


Emergency: A situation requiring immediate staff intervention to prevent and/or repair significant harm done to the SCP Wiki, the community and/or anything else staff is responsible for.

By necessity this definition is very broad as it is impossible to predict every possible emergency which may come up. On some level it is open to interpretation and staff consensus.

Due to the broadness of this definition it is easily abusable. As such, even in an emergency an admin should, when possible, seek advice from other admins and/or staff members regarding the use of fiat, to whatever extent is possible.

Examples of appropriate emergency fiat:

Examples of inappropriate emergency fiat:

B. Red Tape Fiat

A Red Tape Fiat allows an admin to "cut red tape" to temporarily or permanently put into abeyance unnecessary and/or functionally ignored requirements.

Examples of appropriate Red Tape fiat:

Examples of inappropriate Red Tape fiat:

C. Fiat by Acclaim

A Fiat by Acclaim allows an admin to quickly enact the will of staff (based on the advice of staff) when it's difficult or time-sensitive. This may be used in cases where staff's consensus is obvious, but the standard route to implement an action or policy change is unnecessarily long or unhelpful for the situation.

Examples of appropriate Fiat by Acclaim:

Examples of inappropriate Fiat by Acclaim:

D. Procedural Stoppage Fiat

A Procedural Stoppage Fiat allows admins to temporarily stop site processes in their tracks to prevent damage to the community, site or other serious negative consequence, regardless of the will of staff.

Examples of appropriate Procedural Stoppage fiat:

Examples of inappropriate Procedural Stoppage fiat:

E. Override Fiat

(see Section III. Override Fiat)

F. Other

If a Fiat is not considered to fit any of the listed categories then it may be listed as "Other".

III. Override Fiat

  1. Any admin may, at any time, use their Fiat to counter a previous Fiat. We call this specific kind of Admin Fiat an "Override Fiat".
  2. If an Override Fiat is used, no policy, rule or process change is made, the original Fiat decision is merely negated. To proceed, a decision must be made elsewhere, such as by immediate admin review — but the standard expectation is that the decision will be made via O5 discussion.
  3. Both the original Fiat and the Override Fiat must have stated reasoning.
  4. An Override Fiat may not be overridden except by a larger number of supporting admins or a vote by Site Staff.
  5. If a Fiat Review results in overturning a previous Admin Fiat then it is considered to utilize an Override Fiat.

IV. Fiat Limitations

  1. Fiat is limited to matters of site policy and rules.
  2. Fiats must be explained to the best of the enacting admin's ability.
  3. Every use of Fiat must be reviewed by administrators. (see Section V. Fiat Review)
  4. A use of Fiat must be reasonably made available to admins for review, or it is automatically invalid.
  5. Administrators have an obligation to "roll back" or "revoke" all applicable effects of a misused, abused, or simply ill-considered use of Fiat, unless they determine that this rollback would cause damage to the site, community, or staff. This would be considered an Override Fiat. (see Section V. Override Fiat)
  6. An Administrative Fiat is a single action. Multiple actions require multiple Admin Fiats unless there is special reason not to. (see Section VII Exceptions)
  7. A Fiat may not be used to create new, stand-alone policy.
  8. Administrative Fiats must be documented, as defined in "Section VI. Fiat Documentation" of this document, and posted in the Administrative Fiat category of 05command no more than one week after the Fiat is performed unless there is special reason not to. (see Section VII. Exceptions)

V. Fiat Review

  1. The enactor of the Fiat is ultimately responsible for the Fiat and its consequences.
  2. Every use of Fiat is required to be reviewed by administrators to determine if that use is abusive or not.
  3. For a fiat to pass review it must have at least three more active admins in support than active admins in dissent (this is colloquially known as "the Rule of Three"). The admin performing the fiat does not count for this total. (i.e. 1 admin performing the fiat, 2 supporters, 0 dissenters DOES NOT pass review)
  4. A Fiat Review should be completed in the format laid out in "Section VI. Fiat Documentation" within one week of the posting of the Fiat Documentation, unless there is a special reason not to. (see Section VII. Exceptions)
  5. Any use of Fiat that does not meet strict standards of benefit to the site, as determined by both admins and staff as a whole, is considered an abuse of Fiat power whether or not it was intentional abuse.
  6. Any Fiat declared abusive is subject to potential invalidation.
  7. Any admin involved in the passing of an abusive fiat is subject to potential disciplinary action.
  8. Administrators have an obligation to explain to staff the results and reasoning of a Fiat review upon request, unless there is a special reason not to. (see Section VII. Exceptions)
  9. Any uses of Fiat which are not made available for review by admins are automatically invalid, and potentially abusive.
  10. Any staff member may request additional admin review of a fiat, bringing more evidence/reasoning for why the Fiat decision should be changed. This request does not have to be in a particular venue, and may be done privately, in staff chat, or on O5.Admins have the same obligation to explain to staff the results and reasoning of an additional Fiat review as they do for a first Fiat review.
  11. At staff's discretion, any use of Fiat is subject to staff chat or O5 discussion. Administrators are expected to take objections to Fiat actions seriously, those who do not may be subject to disciplinary action and/or other accountability processes.

VI. Fiat Documentation

A. Fiat Format:

Date: The date the fiat was passed.

Type of Fiat (Emergency, Red Tape, Acclaim, Procedural Stoppage, Override, Other) What type of Fiat is this? (may select multiple)

Context: Context of what the fiat is posted on, not necessarily the same as the reason for the fiat. Should link to any relevant policy/discussion etc

Description: What the Fiat does, what changes it makes. When applicable link policy or pages changed or affected by the Fiat.

Reasoning: What made the Fiat necessary? Why did it have to be a Fiat? Did a team/body request the Fiat, if so which?

Supporters: List of active admins agreeing with the Fiat at the time of the fiat's posting.

Dissenters: List of active admins against the Fiat at the time of the fiat's posting.

Timer: Week long timer. This timer represents the amount of time during which the first fiat review must be completed.

Upon conclusion of the timer this section should note if the fiat has passed review, the number of active admin reviewers, the number of active admin supporters and the number of active admin dissenters

B. Comments:

  1. Admins whose fiat votes were not recorded in the initial post may comment their vote.
  2. Assenting and dissenting admins may choose to elaborate on their own reasoning if desired.
  3. Reserve admins may comment on the fiat if desired.
  4. If a fiat of indefinite length is concluded, a staff member should make a comment detailing how, when and why it was concluded.
  5. Any notable corrections of the fiat should be noted in a comment, as well as edited into the original post.
  6. Any calls for a more detailed fiat review, including objections to the fiat, should be noted in a comment. Comments agreeing with the call for a more detailed fiat review should respond to the original call so as to create a more organized thread.

C. Changes made to policies

Any policy pages changed as a result of a fiat must visibly state somewhere on the policy page that this was done and link back to the fiat in question.

VII. Exceptions

In the event that details surrounding a fiat are too sensitive for public display, then administrators should nonetheless opt to be as transparent as possible, in this way:

  1. Admins must always be disclosed complete information regarding a fiat and its review.
  2. If possible, any non-sensitive information about the fiat and its ensuing review should be made public. Even if this is only partial information.
  3. If possible, any sensitive information surrounding the fiat and its ensuing review should be disclosed to as many staff as possible privately. Even if this is only partial information. Even if it is only that a Fiat happened, and/or who is aware of the full details. If JS can safely know they should be informed, if OS can safely know they should be informed, if only captains can know, they should be informed, if only one other staff member can be informed they should still be informed.
  4. Information should only be made sensitive if a majority of admins agree this is necessary. If the decision is not unanimous then a vote should be held between admins. If necessary this may be a private vote.
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